Pump prices continued to elevate across Western Pennsylvania this week, while hitting a national high for the year.

Regionally, a gallon of unleaded self-serve gasoline jumped an average of 2.9 cents to $3.334, AAA East Central reported on Monday afternoon. The agency monitors gasoline prices in 23 cities and towns in the region, where they have continued to increase.

That price is 87 cents higher than it was a year ago, at $2.464.

The U.S. average rose two more cents to $3.19 – which is $1.02 above where it stood a year ago.

Prices in the greater Washington area bumped up 3.7 cents to $3.297, almost 90 cents higher than they were the second week of August of last year. This week’s average, however, is the second lowest in Western Pennsylvania, behind Altoona ($3.262). Brookville ($3.378) his the priciest petrol.

Uniontown’s price ($3.350) jumped 5.8 cents in a week ($3.292), and fell from ninth to 15th lowest regionally.

Pennsylvania, which has the second-highest gasoline tax nationwide, saw its average inch upward by eight-tenths of a penny to $3.281 – 11 cents above the U.S. figure.

Prices across the country fluctuated wildly, ranging from a bump of nine cents per gallon to a decline of seven cents. This is still vacation season, and the Energy Information Administration attributes the swings to an increase in demand coupled with a decrease in gasoline stocks.

Business Writer

Rick Shrum joined the Observer-Reporter as a reporter in 2012, after serving as a section editor, sports reporter and copy editor at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Rick has won eight individual writing awards, including two Golden Quills.

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